Friday, March 16, 2007

mex fest

My father graciously hauled over 6 pounds of tortilla press from the US. After my first batch, I will never buy tortillas again. I was worried that my memories of fresh masa would taint my enjoyment. But thankfully, I was wrong and they were great. I even mastered the time honored technique of laying the tortilla dough on the hot griddle by sweeping my hand backwards over the grill (see video below).

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen provides wonderfully detailed instructions for this simple task (I love this cookbook). They're so easy - mix 1 cup masa harina with 3/4 cup water, roll dough balls, press and toast on griddle for 15 secs on first side, 30 sec on next side, then another 30 seconds on first side again. Hold cooked tortillas in a kitchen towel or warmer. I learned a couple things:

  • cook longer than you think (a full 30 seconds on each side) or the middle tastes uncooked
  • the tortillas stay soft in the warmer so don't worry if they seem a little stiff after cooking
  • ziploc bags (cut open) are the perfect plastic for pressing - plastic wrap is too flimsy
  • non-stick skillet is not necessary. I used my cast iron pan. The tortilla sticks for the first few seconds but then releases (if the pan is the proper temperature)
And what would fresh tortillas be without guac and pico de gallo? Oh, Mexican food, I love you so!


Astrid said...

Loved the video! You inspire me to make more videos, they explain so much!

Can you buy masa harina in Zurich? Did you make those triangular crips tortillas too? Are they fried?

I know absolutely nothing about Mexican food but love the taste of it.

tanya said...

Thanks for the comment. You can buy "harina de maiz para tortillas" at El Maiz on Josephstr in Zurich (near the Hauptbahnhof) - a great Mexican food resource that has every chili, fresh and dried that you'll need. You can even get a tortilla press but it's really expensive (maybe 50sfr?).

I did not make the corn chips. I bought those at El Maiz too. I think they are best brand you can get in Zurich. You can buy the same brand (Mi Adelita I think) at Jemoli too, which has a decent Mex food section and also sells Maseca brand masa harina. Mex food takes a lot of prep, but it's always worth it.

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